Arusha, December 17, 2009 (FH) - The United Nations Security Council has given the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) up to December 31, 2012, to conclude the Appeal cases, reports Hirondelle Agency.

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The UN Tribunal was set up to try key suspects of the 1994 genocide, which claimed lives of about 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

According to a UN Press Release issued Wednesday, the Security has agreed to increase ad litem (temporary) judges at the ICTR from current nine to 12 to speed up the hearing of the trials.

The Security Council has also asked Judge Erik Mose from Norway, who retires at the end of this month, to stay on to complete judgement phase of Lieutenant-Colonel Ephrem Setako, which he has presided since August 2008.The prosecution rested its case on April 22, this year in the trial after presenting 20 witnesses, whereas the defendant rested his case on 25 June after presenting 34 witnesses.  The parties presented their closing arguments on 5 November.

The ICTR President this month told the Security Council that efforts have been stepped to track-down 11 fugitives who are still on the run. At least three of them must be tried at the UN Court if arrested.

The Arusha-based ICTR has so far convicted 40 persons and acquitted eight.Cases are underway for ten accused persons. Two trials are yet to start.


© Hirondelle News Agency